What started with a simple vision has now become an ever-evolving organization. Discover the values driving Qatar Foundation, dig into our history, and learn more about our leadership.
Qatar Foundation (QF) is a non-profit organization made up of more than 50 entities working in education, research, and community development.
Our unique ecosystem—supported by partnerships with leading international institutions—is built on initiatives that address our most pressing challenges, create global opportunities, and empower people to shape our present and future.
For over two decades, Qatar Foundation has been driving regional innovation and entrepreneurship, fostering social development and a culture of lifelong learning, and preparing our brightest minds to tackle tomorrow’s biggest challenges.
At the heart of everything we do is the knowledge that our future lies in unlocking the most precious resource of all—human potential.
About Education City
Education City, our flagship initiative, is a campus that spans more than 12 square kilometers and hosts branch campuses of some of the world’s leading educational institutes, a homegrown university, and other research, scholastic, and community centers.
Together, these institutes make Education City a unique model of academic and research excellence, pioneering a new approach to multidisciplinary, global education and enabling breakthroughs that benefit Qatar and the rest of the world.
Founded in 2010, Hamad Bin Khalifa University is a homegrown graduate-focused university that acts as a catalyst for transformative change in Qatar and the region. Through applying creativity to knowledge, students at HBKU have the opportunity to discover innovative solutions that are locally relevant and have a global impact.
To explore the world of media and communication, you can study at Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q), a modern media school that opened in Qatar in 2008. NU-Q offers undergraduate education in journalism and communication with a strong liberal arts foundation. Northwestern’s programs are ranked as some of the best in the world and prepare the students to become leaders in the global media industry as executives, journalists, producers, directors, editors, and much more.
If you’re interested in a degree from a leading foreign affairs university, you can apply to Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q). Established in Education City in 2005, GU-Q offers a four-year undergraduate program leading to the Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service (BSFS) degree. The liberal arts education at GU-Q offers students training in a wide range of subjects, along with the ability to specialize in key international affairs topics.
If you’re an aspiring doctor, you can join Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar, which shares the tripartite mission of Weill Cornell Medicine in New York: a dedication to excellence in education, patient care, and research. Established in 2001 as the first medical school in Qatar, WCM-Q offers an integrated program of pre-medical and medical studies leading to the Cornell University MD degree.
A private, top-ranked, and global university, Carnegie Mellon sets its own course with programs that inspire creativity and collaboration. Since 2004, Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar has offered select programs in science, business, and technology that prepare graduates to be leaders, creators, and problem-solvers.
If you are interested in pursuing a career in engineering, Texas A&M University at Qatar (TAMUQ) offers one of the world’s premier engineering programs, built on its home campus’ international reputation in engineering. Since its establishment in 2003, students at TAMUQ have been learning from some of the world’s most acclaimed scholars and researchers. The university dedicates tremendous resources to advanced research, and students work closely with faculty and graduate students throughout their academic career.
You can unleash your inner artist or designer by becoming part of VCUarts Qatar, a branch campus of Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Richmond, Virginia. VCUarts Qatar, the first university to be founded at Qatar Foundation, has established itself as a center of excellence for education and research in art and design over the past 20 years, and has substantial involvement with the emerging design industries in Qatar.
If you’re a professional or an executive in a senior management position, you can enhance your leadership skills through the various programs offered at HEC Paris in Qatar. Since 2010, HEC Paris in Qatar’s world-class executive education has been building corporate competitiveness within the global economy. Its management programs and research activities are designed to support the transformation of GCC economies into advanced, competitive, and knowledge-based economies.
At UCL Qatar, you can receive an education in cultural heritage of the highest quality from one of the world’s leading multi-disciplinary universities, University College London (UCL). Since its establishment in 2012, UCL Qatar has offered innovative postgraduate degree programmes that are challenging, creative, and designed to produce highly skilled and motivated professionals who will become the cultural leaders of tomorrow.
Since our organization was established over two decades ago, we’ve strengthened our foundations, while continuing to make new breakthroughs throughout our journey. Explore some of our major milestones in the timeline below.
Creation of Qatar Foundation To realize their ambitious vision for the future of Qatar, His Highness The Father Emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani and Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser establish Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development.
Establishment of Qatar Academy Committed to inspiring the hearts and minds of a new generation, Qatar Foundation establishes Qatar Academy. The focus: providing high-quality primary and secondary school education, while embracing the morals and customs of Qatari society.
The First Branch Campus Opens Virginia Commonwealth University becomes the first partner university to bring its world-class degree program to the Qatar Foundation community.
Establishment of the Academic Bridge Program Academic Bridge Program is founded to facilitate the transition between high school and university by helping students overcome academic and cultural challenges.
Partnership with Cornell University Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar is officially established to offer a program in medicine.
Partnership with Texas A&M Given Qatar’s wealth of oil and gas reserves, Qatar Foundation establishes Texas A&M University at Qatar to provide high-quality engineering courses.
Inauguration of Education City On 13 October 2003, Education City, located on the outskirts of Doha, is formally inaugurated.
Creation of Qatar Science & Technology Park Qatar Science & Technology Park is established as a center of excellence for technology companies from around the world and to serve as a proven platform for start-up enterprises.
Al Shaqab Joins Qatar Foundation
A world-class equestrian venue, Al Shaqab is created to teach and promote equine traditions that have been carefully nurtured in Qatar for generations.
Partnership with Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar is established to offer undergraduate programs in fields related to business and information studies.
Creation of Al Jazeera Children’s Channel
Al Jazeera Children’s Channel is born, with the mission to fully understand how children’s minds work, and to converse with them on a meaningful level.
Establishment of Reach Out to Asia
Reach Out to Asia is established to extend Qatar Foundation’s mission to the Asian continent and the Asian expatriate community, helping countries that are facing problems with education due to poverty, political conflict, or natural disaster.
Partnership with Georgetown University
Georgetown University in Qatar is established to offer degrees in fields relating to foreign service.
Establishment of Qatar National Research Fund
Qatar National Research Fund is established to support and encourage original, competitively selected research in engineering and technology, physical and life sciences, medicine, humanities, social sciences, and the arts.
Establishment of Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies
The Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies (now Hamad Bin Khalifa University’s College of Islamic Studies) is established to enhance thinking, research, and discussion related to Islamic culture.
Creation of the Qur’anic Botanic Garden
The Qur’anic Botanic Garden is created to shed new light on Islamic horticulture.
Partnership with Northwestern University
A collaboration with Northwestern University in Qatar begins, offering programs in media-related fields.
Creation of World Innovation Summit for Education
The World Innovation Summit for Education is launched as the largest education symposium of its kind, nurturing innovative solutions for education that will shape the future.
Partnership with HEC Paris
HEC Paris in Qatar is established to offer postgraduate degrees in fields related to management.
Partnership with University College London
UCL Qatar is established to offer postgraduate degrees in the field of cultural heritage.
Founding of Hamad Bin Khalifa University
Qatar Foundation launches its homegrown institution, Hamad Bin Khalifa University.
Establishment of Qatar Energy and Environment Research Institute
Qatar Energy and Environment Research Institute is established to address national challenges in energy and water security.
Opening of Qatar National Convention Centre
Qatar National Convention Centre is launched as one of the largest and most technologically advanced venues in the Middle East, with state-of-the-art production and presentation facilities.
Establishment of Qatar Biomedical Research Institute
Qatar Biomedical Research Institute is created to improve and transform healthcare through innovation in prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases affecting the region and the Qatari population.
Inauguration of World Innovation Summit for Health
The first summit of the World Innovation Summit for Health is held, launching a global healthcare community dedicated to capturing and disseminating the best evidence-based ideas and practices.
Launch of Hamad Bin Khalifa University Press
Qatar Foundation launches its own publishing house for children’s books, as well as academic, educational, and fictional books in both English and Arabic.
Launch of Siraj
Qatar Foundation’s 3D edutainment TV series Siraj is created to help children learn the Arabic language in a fun and engaging way.
Establishment of Renad Academy
The Renad Academy is established to help children who have been diagnosed with mild to moderate Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Opening of Qatar National Library
The first new national library to open anywhere in the world in this millennium, the 45,000-square-meter building is home to over one million books, a heritage collection, and more.
Launch of Sidra Medicine
One of the most ambitious greenfield hospital developments of its kind, Sidra Medicine is established to develop the region’s leading academic medical center and provide healthcare of the highest global standards to the people of Qatar and beyond.
Establishment of Qatar Academy for Science and Technology
Providing an advanced academic program for accomplished students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) subjects, the program focuses on academics, hands-on science skills, and innovative thinking.
We gathered a generation of big ideas,
Planted the roots of knowledge,
Nurtured the power of a thought.
We prepared for the future, and, in time, found ourselves living it.
In our world,
Big ideas flow,
Knowledge grows, and
Thoughts roam readily.
Delighted by the luminance of innovation,
We spark the kindles of a generation’s finest wonders.
And we do what we always did best,
We unlock human potential.
Our values have always been at the core of our identity. They are the beliefs that define who we are, and guide our decisions on the journey to achieving our overarching vision.
Two decades ago, His Highness the Father Emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani and Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser shared a vision for Qatar's future development, which led to the creation of Qatar Foundation.
Throughout the years, our leadership team has proudly guided and delivered on the promises of that vision, developing Qatar Foundation into what it has become today.
The Sidra tree is not only an iconic symbol of Qatar's heritage, but also a beacon of comfort and nourishment in the harsh desert environment.
The Sidra tree, growing strong and proud in the harshest of environments, has been a symbol of perseverance and nourishment across the borders of the Arab world.
With its roots bound in the soil of this world and its branches reaching upward toward perfection, it is a symbol of solidarity and determination; it reminds us that the goals of this world are not incompatible with the goals of the spirit.
Our organization’s logo is the Sidra tree (Ziziphus spina-christi), which is native to Qatar and flourishes in harsh and arid climate.
The branches of Sidra tree represent the diversity and expanse of QF, which consists of more than 50 entities. The leaves and flowers of the tree equate to the individual lives that it nourishes, with the fruits going on to produce seeds that guarantee sustainability and a healthy future.
We welcome thousands of visitors to Qatar Foundation each year, and are always delighted to share our story, vision, and achievements with people from around the world.
You can book a guided tour of our facilities to get an overview of what makes QF and Education City so unique.